21 September 2013

Grape Gathering

Ever since spotting a growing vineyard in Iowa, Jack has wanted one of his own.  Imagine his delight when the farm in Indiana already had one.
We spent one evening flipping the makeshift cage over so the vines could soak up a little more light and transplanted more than a few wild vines, trying to tame them and convince them making grapes for us was a good idea.
The loving care we put into it seemed to pay off.  When the grapes turned into plump clusters of deep violet fruit, we went grape gathering.  Jack carefully cut the bunches off and the girls, between eating errant fruits, put them lovingly in the collection bucket.
They ate a few over the next several days but being seeded concord grapes, they were a bit tart and had thick skin and large seeds tucked in the slightly slimy fruit.  What to do with all those grapes?
Waste not, want not, right?  Getting all the extra juice from the pulp.
"Jelly?" I suggested.  "We already have plenty of plum jelly," Jack pointed out, almost like he doesn't care for jellies (What?!).  "Juice then?"  Jack approved.
Before the sugar, that juice was TART.
The girls and Jack boiled and mashed the fruit until it was a thick-as-blood drink that made everyone's mouths pucker because the only thing to it was sour.  Add a heaping spoonful of sugar and some water and ironically, it tasted a lot like frozen concentrate from the store.
Steaming hot, fresh grape juice anyone?
But, it was better.  It came from our very own soil and efforts and was au naturale.  Just the way we like it.
The side effects of sucking the juice from the pulp.

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